Newcomer

Gathering

AUG 26

Help Syrian Refugees

He presented a Certificate of Appreciation from the City of Toronto. Rita Odjaghian, Chair of AFSS, welcomed everyone with a heartfelt speech.  She talked about the mission of AFSS, and how important it is to create a sense of love and affection in the hearts of all the newcomers through compassion, hard work and dedication. She thanked Janet Yeremian, the organizing committee members and all volunteers without whom the event would not have been possible.
Mr. Greg Sarkissian, President of the Zoryan Institute, addressed the newcomers and spoke about a new Oral History Project they are undertaking to document the stories of the new Syrian-Armenian refugees. He invited interested newcomers to join this project.
The MC of the day was the lovely Sarin Poladian, herself a newcomer. She opened the event by thanking AFSS for welcoming the Syrian- Armenians and allowing them to showcase their talents in this new land.. The event featured several performances by well-known artists such as Nazar Poladian, Hasmig Tachajian Bertizian, Mher Minassian, Anahit Koutsouzian, Anna-Maria and Mike Muyabed. Several paintings by the  well-known artist Razmig Bertizian were on prominent display.


The “Sassoun Dance Ensemble” of Holy Trinity Armenian Church performed lively Armenian dances, bringing even more joy to the gathering. A delicious lunch was served, followed by homemade desserts. As the two “Welcome to Canada” cakes with Canadian flag designs were brought into the hall, everyone stood up and sang the national anthems of Canada and Armenia. At the end of the luncheon, the joy and happiness were palpable in the air.  AFSS Board members received many testimonials of gratitude from the attendants. Many said they felt they were treated like family, felt at home and appreciated.
For over 12 years AFSS has provided various humanitarian services to our existing and new community members. Two years ago, AFSS was granted the Sponsorship Agreement Holder privilege. Since then we have sponsored over 300 Syrian-Armenian refugees. Our services begin at the point of landing and continue throughout the settlement and integration into this beautiful country. AFSS greets refugees along with their sponsors at the airport. Services include assistance with housing and furnishings, schooling for children, employment counseling and placement, support circles, referrals and more. This truly manifests an end-to-end settlement process for our new Canadians.
Our work continues with even more dedication. If you are interested in the services provided or if you would like to support our mission, we would like to hear from you by phone: 416-431-5549 or by E-mail: contactus@afsstoronto.ca.

AFSS Press Office
Published June 23 2016


















On Sunday, May 15, 2016, following Divine Liturgy at Holy Trinity Armenian Church, a luncheon and talent show was organized at the “Magaros Artinian” hall by the Armenian Family Support Services (AFSS) to welcome Syrian-Armenian newcomers. About 300 people attended this one-of-a-kind event and enjoyed the warm atmosphere with friends, great food and performances. Rev. Archpriest Father Zareh Zargarian, Parish Priest of Holy Trinity Armenian Church (HTAC), delivered his warm welcoming message to the Syrian-Armenian newcomers, and expressed his well wishes to them. He appreciated the organizers' efforts and devotion and praised the AFSS board members for their ongoing efforts. Many of the HTAC Parish Council members were present at this lovely gathering. Maida Icliates, Founder of AFSS, introduced Toronto City Hall Councillor, the Honourable Jim Karygiannis, who thanked the AFSS Board and volunteers for their many years of dedication and service to the Toronto Armenian community. 

newcomerluncheon

Newcomer Luncheon Organized by Armenian Family


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Our Voice - Testimonials

“Mental health issues are unfortunately not easily fixed and are a long term issue. I cannot express enough, the support the Armenian Family Support Services have given my family. If it had not been for them, I dread to think of the situation that could have occurred. Now, sometime after the major breakdown and the support continues and I pray will not end soon"

 

Z. B,

Community Member

“AFSS provided us with both material and emotional support. That made us realize that in this foreign country {Canada], we are not alone. Thank you for the work that you do for newcomers, we really appreciate it.”

 

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Armenian Family Support Services (AFSS) is a non-profit community organization whose mission is to provide emergency support, settlement, and referral services in the Greater Toronto Area.

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